As you can easily guess from my avatar, I'm medium tank T-34 from First Polish Army, personal name "Rudy", tactical name "102" (serial number and date of manufacture are classified), crew of five: Olgierd, Gustlik, Grześ, Janek, Tomek and, of course, Szarik. Frontal armour... oh, well, you probably already know that anyway.
My story with GC is somewhat funny. I'm not an avid reader of game magazines, not because I think they're selling their reviews, though in some cases I can't explain certain reviews indeed, but for other reasons, namely: local retail was extremely retarded (one of reasons why I don't like it and prefer digital distribution, as long as there are no rectal regional/language restrictions) and sold very strange games I never understood in first place (like TV franchise-based ones), or games my PC couldn't handle. To add some flavour to local market situation, magazines themselves weren't available that frequently. Moreover, for many years (basically up to a date of my registration here, hehe ) I used dialup, so browsing the web wasn't solution either, much less downloading something. I couldn't even share games with friends, because we had rather opposite views on gaming (even in hockey I was a goalie and they were field players, mostly forwards:)). Among them I was considered "nerd" who could enjoy such "nerdy" games as Operation Flashpoint or Hearts of Iron. Simply put, I had zero chances to be personally acquainted with series.
Later, when I got chance to order things from Amazon (because local online stores were selling localized versions of games, and, to put it mildly, I openly hate them; don't get me wrong, I like my native languages, but I hate the way games were localized), I was kinda reserved on purchasing games I haven't heard of, given the huge list of games I've heard of but haven't played due reasons listed above. Anyway, I bought GC1 because it was cheap, and because unlike some Canadians, I don't think that jumping on third game is wise (though it was second at time).
I can't say first meeting was love at first sight, it wasn't. First thing I noticed was a palette. I don't want to offend designer, but I think blue on blue isn't optimal choice (unfortunately, Iveco designers do not understand that). I've been recently trying to replay GC1 to be reacquainted with storyline and I still have problems with that. It's like your eyewear got fogged up, and you caught some soapy water in your eyes. Another problems were related to interface, required too much micro in certain situations, game's habit to automatically end turn as soon as last ship completed its order, and jumping view focus on ships. I admit, those were minor problems, but if I still remember them, I don't like them that much. Regardless, those issues, accompanied by hasteless, measured pace of game (it's not a complain, I like it, after all, I'm not those crazy forwards, I'm goalie ) made walkthrough rather lengthy.
Acquaintance with GC2 was delayed as well, mostly because of all other games released back in time, and my wish to close the gap with games I missed during the years in series that caught my attention also. I think I remembered about GC2 when SoaSE was released. Game has lost practically all areas I disliked in GC1, and kept those things I like, including the pace. Yet that very pace made process of studying game very slow, and usual trial-and-error approach, suitable for other games, worked badly here. Well, it worked fine, all my trials were errors, if you know what I mean , but I can't say I learned game to a degree it deserves, even now.
SoaSE was the game that looked very attractive to me, but back then, my PC couldn't handle it, even on minimum, so I was playing older games instead - it's kinda hard to play game like that while visiting friend, when it took several hours just to complete blitz party.
Anyway, in 2012 I purchased Stardock Pack in Steam, played all games present for a bit, understood I liked most of them, minus Demigod, and wished they also sold time to play them, because it was clear I wouldn't be able to study games to a degree they deserve. As much as I like them, I understand the time I have on daily basis usually enough only to remember what I was planning to do, make a couple moves and quit. I'm exaggerating a bit, but you got the idea.
Of course, I completed GC2, because I like the story and, unlike SoaSE, there was a story, but my regular playing is rather sporadic, even with recent ammo costs increase, making it more difficult to shoot regularly, and some problems with fishing/hunting seasons windows.
Well, that's my story. I hoped you liked to read it as much as I liked remembering it.